Texas State holds off Troy late, 61-59, breaks 5th-place tie

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SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) — Nijal Pearson hit a pair of free throws with :19 left and Ojai Black added another as Texas State held off Troy, 63-59 Saturday in a key Sun Belt Conference battle.

The victory moves Texas State (16-11, 9-6) into fifth place in the conference standings, breaking a tie with the Trojans (16-13, 8-7) with three games remaining in the regular season.

Kavin Gilder-Tilbury hit 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point line and hit 8 of 11 from the field overall to score 19 points for the Bobcats. Black added 13 points off the Texas State bench.

Jordan Varnado shot 11 for 17 and scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Troy. Jeremy Hollimon added 12 points off the bench as the Trojans shot 41.1 percent from the field (23 of 56).

Texas State plays host to South Alabama Monday, then closes out the season at Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.

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